UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT ABUSE FUELS DEBATE FOR GREATER REFORM – During this month the Government announced a number of measures to bring about reform to the welfare system.
One such reform was to reduce the amount of money being given so that claimants were not better off than the average working family. This, from anyone’s point of view, must appear a sensible approach and when you consider the amount of abuse the welfare system is open to it is little wonder why the taxpayer is calling on the Government to do even more.
In a report today, released by the Department of Work and Pensions, it details how one million people, that’s four out of every ten, that receive unemployment benefit are fit to work but have spent over 3 years on benefits.
Recently the Government came under fire from the Labour Party as it placed a cap of £26,000 a year, per household, which forces those on ‘Incapacity Benefit’ or what it has now become ‘Employment Support Allowance’ to undergo regular health tests in order to assess their ability to be able to work or not.
In the first day alone of the new health tests some 8,000 people stopped claiming and went back to work. This was surely a sign that the move was a positive one for taxpayers and the burden that is levied upon them.
The report details that on the 31st March 2012 there were 2.3 million people claiming benefits and 1 million of those had been claiming more than one type of benefit for over 3 years.
The Office for Budget Responsibility claims in its recent report that social security spending will continue to grow without positive reforms and with the current levels of cost and growth it is expected that the current social security budget will grow from this year’s budget of £180 billion to £198 billion by 2017.
These figures, along with clear evidence that reforms are beginning to work, lays bare the raw truth at just how dependant we have become on the social security system and how it is often abused by those who simply do not want to work or contribute to society. These reforms need to be widened if the Government is serious about lightening the load on the taxpayer.
While the taxpaying public is able to clearly see a real need for a welfare system they feel that their money should not be provided to those who are capable but simply refuse to work.
We live in a ‘sociably responsible’ environment and there are those who definitely need our help. With the on-going reforms and the cost savings these incur we will be able to provide a far superior system of help, not only in the benefits arena but also that of vital healthcare.